We have a holiday message for you this year. It’s not quite Christmas yet, but we’re getting into the spirit of things. For many of us, this is the time of year when our better angels prevail. Hopefully by now our hearts have softened a bit in anticipation, and open hearts sometimes lead to open ears.
The message was first brought to us by Buckminster Fuller who said, “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”
We’ll need this message again very soon. Next year the political circus will reach the heights of frenzy and the depths of depravity. Some of us may need to repeat this wisdom like a mantra.
If you spend any time at all on social media platforms, or if you scan the headlines of the most popular “news” sources, you’ll see the opposite of building. Instead you’ll see attacks, insults, derision, propaganda and spin.
Some of the memes we post and share are undoubtedly funny. The friends who agree with us, laugh with us. The ones who don’t may not comment, but eventually they stop following us. They no longer hear what we have to say, even when we speak the truth.
Meanwhile, outside our bubble of awareness the people who have stopped listening to us are posting their own jokes and insults. We don’t know because we’ve stopped listening to them.
Let’s say, for example, that the people who laugh with us get a lot of their “news” from the Pepsi network. The people who laugh at us get their information from Coke. Those of us who laugh at both Coke and Pepsi see two separate “realities” being described. “Did you see the Pepsi article on the impeachment hearings today? Things are looking bad for Trump!” “Did you see the Coke article today? Trumps lawyer made a fool of that witness!”
Lets take a moment and list the innovative and consensus building ideas that the Democrats have produced in their campaigns this year. That didn’t take long. Now let’s list the new solutions the Republicans have offered. We’ll wait.
You get the point. It’s not that both sides don’t have any solutions, but betcha most of us couldn’t name one to save our lives.
There is nothing mysterious about this lack of understanding and communication. Let’s think back over our own lives for a moment. Now make a list of the lessons, the breakthroughs and the epiphanies we’ve experienced from being insulted, disparaged, mocked and ridiculed.
We’re all quite capable of recognizing truth, but we recoil from accepting it as an injection or in suppository form.
While we’re busy laughing with the people who agree with us and insulting the ones who don’t, a lot of bad things can happen outside our bubble of awareness. The government is $23 trillion in debt and adding another trillion every year. Did you see the excellent and well documented report recently released by the Washington Post about the war in Afghanistan?
For 18 years now the government has deceived, obscured and blatantly lied about the situation there. Everyone’s favorite president was complicit. Bush, Obama, and so far, Trump, all complicit in the deception. Secretaries of State and cabinets, members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, all complicit. And the cost… 2,372 American military deaths; 1,720 contractor deaths; 20,320 wounded. $1 trillion spent, and at least 100 thousand enemy combatants and 40 thousand civilians, dead.
Who is responsible? It’s not our neighbor. It’s not the Democrat or the Republican voter we like to insult. There has been so much outrage among our people. Much of it has been engineered outrage, but we have been complicit in perpetuating that anger. Stop and look at what has happened while we were busy insulting and attacking each other.
Now let the outrage and the responsibility rest where it belongs: On the “military industrial complex” that Eisenhower warned us about; on the permanent political class that survives every election; on the ever growing and increasingly coercive bureaucracy, and on the corporate media which encourages anger and drama because it is profitable.
When we begin to think in terms of accountability, it makes the process of choosing candidates next year much easier: Not one vote for anyone who was complicit in the crimes of the last 18 years, and that includes a large percentage of the incumbents now living in Washington. Doesn’t that save a lot of wasted time and effort? You’re welcome.